Fredric Butler
Vail, CO, Colorado

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January 13, 2013
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Vail Daily letter: Different role models

Unlike Mr. Bornstein's entire life of 69 years, I would hope that my entire life would extend much beyond my 73 years.

However, I do agree with his Jan. 2 commentary that the NRA's solution to precluding further tragic events (Sandy Hook, Columbine, etc.) is unfeasible, too expensive, evasive and unrealistic to the extent that it is inane and naive.

LaPierre's knee-jerk reaction to Sandy Hook was politically motivated to divert national and the United Nations' attention away from the marketplace and from the real issue of how to most effectively address the problem of criminals in our society.

Bornstein's statistics promoting the restriction or elimination of guns in the market place and out of the hands of the law-abiding citizens are inapplicable to American society - past, present and future - for America is a unique place.

He points to Japan with its prohibitions on gun possession as the model for the United States to follow. I seem to recall that shortly after World War II, the model for Japan to follow was the United States, and thus, centuries of dictatorial and tyrannical government became history. In fact, throughout history, before World War II, the average Japanese citizen was disarmed, and the emperor-military was the only power in place.

After this era, the average American was so well-armed that the Japanese invasion of the mainland was pre-empted by that fact alone. Does Mr. Bornstein truly believe that the American citizen should be disarmed to the extent of his Japanese counterpart or role model? As history bore out, America was no Japan, and it should remain that way for the continued protection of the American people.

Tragedy will always occur, whether it be at the hands of a lone and deranged lunatic or by the hand of government itself. Even Mr. Bornstein cites an example of this, when he recounts that "Last August, two NYPD officers opened fire on a suspected shooter, killing him and wounding nine other innocent bystanders in a 'good guy' versus 'bad guy' confrontation."

I recall the recent "Fast and Furious" death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent because of governmental malfeasance. Should tragedy be only the province of government and therefore overlooked or forgiven under the names of sovereign immunity or executive privilege?

Tragedies are never justified no matter who the perpetrators are. What is the difference in the outcome of a private citizen running guns to the cartel or the ATV walking them? Death is the common denominator. We have more than 300 million Americans, many of whom are armed with deadly weapons, such as firearms, automobiles and knives. We have but one federal government, and I would wager that the odds-on favorite for a child's safety would be with the legion of armed citizens.

Chicago, the homeland of Obama, Jackson Jr., former governors Ryan and Blagojevich (the latter residing in federal prison), is a classic example of the effects of laws restricting firearm possession in the hands of citizens. Chicago has the highest murder rate and the most constraints than any other state, save Washington, D.C., and California. In the last six months there were 292 murders in Chicago compared to 221 killed in Iraq. Is Chicago safer than Eagle, Cheyenne, Bismarck?

With the Second Amendment all but expunged in Chicago by regulations, would Mr. Bornstein consider it a role model for the rest of the country?

Consider this: would the odds against Sandy Hook transpiring have been greater had there been in place more restrictive laws against gun ownership by law-abiding citizens? Would those odds against this tragedy have been greater because of the presence of Mr. LaPierre's armed guard at the school?

I would wager that the PTA is more adept at confronting the danger than, say, the ATF, FBI, National Guard, state police or sheriff's office. When it comes to the welfare of child, the parents and teachers have more skin in the game than any governmental bureaucrat, officer or employee.

It is a given that both Mr. Bornstein and I are old, parents of children and have some recall of history. However, we simply have different role models. His are Japan, Chicago and Washington, D.C., to name a few.

Mine happen to be the parents and teachers who man the barricades on the front line, for it is they who have the most to lose when tragedy strikes. As they stand alone, they should have the means to confront the perils of the moment.

Fredric Butler


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 13, 2013 02:23PM Published Jan 13, 2013 02:21PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.